Should you attend religious gatherings? Should children visit their grandparents? Should you go to a restaurant? An infectious disease specialist weighs in.
When the World Health Organization labelled the coronavirus a pandemic earlier this week, reaction from Canadians ranged from hoarding toilet paper to carrying on as normal—including embarking on March break vacations.
But Canada has already had its wake-up call, says infectious disease specialist Isaac Bogoch. “We have the Prime Minister in self-isolation because his wife is infected. We had the NHL suspend its season. And minor hockey in Canada suspended its activities as well,” explains the associate professor University of Toronto School of Medicine. “That’s the core of Canada—our head of government and hockey. I get that there’s a lot more to Canada than that, but if there is any indication that the coronavirus is here and it’s time to take it seriously, it’s that.”
Bogoch emphasizes how “we must roll up our collective sleeves and do our bit as individuals, as communities, as organizations to ensure that we mitigate the damage caused by this virus—at the health level and the economic level.”
So what does that entail, exactly? Should kids still be hanging out with their grandparents? Should Canadians wear gloves at the gas pump? And should we shame our friends into cancelling vacation plans abroad? Bogoch answered some of these practical questions from Maclean’s, and more:
Aaron Hutchins – MacLean’s – March 14, 2020.